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Emerging standards for voice and multimodal interaction on the Web

Dr Dave Raggett
7:15pm in Cruciform Building Lecture theatre No. 2, UCL

This talk will present W3C's work on developing standards for expanding the means by which people interact with the Web. W3C's Speech Interface Framework is aimed at the 2 billion phones world wide, allowing people to use spoken commands and key pads for input and to listen to prerecorded speech, synthetic speech and music for output. W3C's work in this area is bringing Web technology to call centers.

Not content with that, we are also working on giving people the choice of which modes or which combination of modes they wish to use for interaction. Today, we are used to clicking on links, and dragging the scroll bar to browse through documents. With multimodal, you get the ability to use spoken commands in place of clicking, or typing, or writing with an electronic pen. These modes can be used as alternatives or used together, for instance when you combine speech with pen gestures like tapping, circling or drawing arrows.

If you are in a quiet restaurant or a noisy room then speech isn't such a good idea, but when you want to keep your hands and eyes free, then speech is really useful. We use our eyes and hands to interact with the Web, and our ears and mouth to interact via the phone. Bringing these together has a lot of appeal. Work on the W3C Multimodal Interaction Framework is still at an early stage.

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